Lee Enterprises Pushes News Content Toward Digital Devices

Feb 1, 2018

First quarter results at Davenport-based Lee Enterprises demonstrate the ongoing changes in the newspaper industry. Content and advertising are rapidly moving to digital.

Lee Enterprises headquarters in Davenport.
Credit Lee Enterprises

Overall revenue at the newspaper chain has dropped 6.6 percent from a year ago. Subscription revenue was off by more than a percent. But on the digital side, earnings from advertising grew by around three percent. Lee’s executive chairwoman Mary Junck says the results are remaking how editors and reporters go about their jobs.

“Our newsrooms are routinely measuring reader interest, tracking audience engagement and adjusting our content in real time to maximize audiences and revenue,” she says.

Junck says the results are pushing Lee toward producing more content for digital readers.

“To grow audience and audience engagement, which translates to digital revenue growth, we’ve built a digital content center that develops and acquires high-interest content,” she says.

The company’s first quarter numbers show the monthly visits to Lee mobile, tablet, desktop and app sites averaged 72.5 million views.